Category Archives: Insects

An Emerging Dragonfly

When I was out in my kayak a week or so ago, I saw something strange floating in the water. As I got closer, it looked like a dragonfly … or two. I wasn’t sure what, but took the picture to find out what it was.

When I looked it up, it seems that this is a dragonfly that has just emerged and has shed its skin on the plant. Wow!

It reminded me of how we are changed when we turn our lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ. We become a new creation.


I was sitting quietly by Balsam Lake, Ontario, when I noticed this industrious bumble bee. I don’t know what species it is – Ontario has numerous species of native bees and I’m not an expert. I usually avoid them.
Bumble bees are large and fuzzy. Their colours and patterns vary – yellows, blacks, white, orange, brown. Most are colonial with a queen and workers in the hive.IMG_3035I think ours are big enough. I wouldn’t want to meet one species in Chile which grows up to about 40 mm long (1.5 inches). It’s no wonder they’ve nicknamed them “flying mice”.
Bumble bees don’t have a very long lifespan. To prepare for winter, the queen bee lays eggs for other queen bees and some workers. These new queen bees mate and then hibernate for the winter in their own nests. In the meantime, the old queen and her workers all die. In the spring, the new queen lays a batch of eggs. When these eggs hatch, they are worker bees who take care of cleaning the hive and going out for more nectar and pollen.IMG_3039If bumblebees flew like an airplane, we might wonder how they are even able to fly at all. However, their wings move in a different way which provides the lift they need. It’s amazing the way God has made them to be able to do this.   IMG_3040-with-scripture

Elm Sawfly Larva

We were getting our trailer ready for a camping trip, and saw this yellow “thing” on the step we use. I thought at first that it was some kind of cocoon, but when I looked at it closer, I could see that it almost looked like a caterpillar. However, it wasn’t quite like a caterpillar. I took the following pictures of it so that I could see if we could identify it.

It took awhile, but we finally found that it is the larva of an elm sawfly. I had never heard of the elm sawfly, so this was interesting. The elm sawfly is a type of wasp.  Both the adult and larva can cause damage to trees, especially elm trees and willows.

It was fascinating to look at. It didn’t have “hair” like a caterpillar, and apparently has 7 prolegs compared to no more than 5 prolegs on a caterpillar. I didn’t know this fact at the time, and don’t know that I would know how to count them.

When the larva feels threatened, it coils itself and can release volatile chemicals if needed. We didn’t disturb it much so didn’t see this happen. It was coiled up when we first saw it. 

God has made so many different, unique creatures. It’s good to look at them more closely to see the intricate detail on them. Fascinating!
All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being that has has come into being.
John 1:3

More Photos of Butterflies

I’m still having some difficulty with my website –  Please be patient – I will get it working soon. It doesn’t seem to be sending emails out with updates.

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of different butterflies that I was able to take when we were at the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls. There were too many for one post, so I thought I would add this one with some more photos.
While I was there I had another “photography lesson” from a man who was also taking photos. He was quite anxious to give me some advice about how to take a picture … interesting. It sounds like he goes there quite often to take photos.
Enjoy the photos.
God has provided such a variety of birds, animals and butterflies for us to enjoy. I think butterflies are some of the most fascinating of the insects to watch.
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104:24

Butterflies at the Conservatory

If you want to see a variety of butterflies, the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is well worth visiting. When you first walk in, the number of butterflies is almost overwhelming. Most days they have about 2000 butterflies flying around. There are about 45 species, most of them coming from South America, so lots of butterflies that I have never seen here in Ontario.

The day we were there it was very cold outside, but sunny, and they said that more were out flying around enjoying the heat from the sun. It was difficult to know which ones to take pictures of, and you have to be patient while you wait for them to settle. Sometimes they settle on people, and several times they landed on my hand or on my camera. 
Most butterflies rest with their wings closed, so you have to wait until they are open if you want a picture of them at their best. There are a lot more butterfly pictures than I am putting in this post,  so I’ll put some more up next week.

I don’t know the names of all of these butterflies, but God knows every kind, and He knows you and me. 

He (God) who lives forever and ever,
is the One who created heaven and earth and sea 
and everything in them.
Revelation 10:6

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

I’m in the process of reviewing photos that I took through the summer, and came across  this one of a dragonfly. It was resting on our hydrangea, and stayed in place long enough for me to take its picture.
We are always glad to see the dragonflies come in early summer. At times we have large swarms of them over our land and lake. Other than the interesting scene, the reason we like seeing them is because they help with the mosquito population … which we seem to get enough of quite quickly and easily.
Apparently, even when they are nymphs, they like to eat mosquito larvae and other insects, etc.. When they become dragonflies, they continue to like similar things, and will eat mosquitoes, other small flying insects, and even butterflies, moths and bees. I think I appreciate the fact that they eat the mosquitoes and keep their population under control.
There are around 2,500 types of dragonflies. I tried to find out what one this is, and it looks like a male Widow Skimmer, according to ON Nature website.  They are all interesting to look at. Isn’t it interesting that God has made such variety even in dragonflies.

All things were made through Him, 
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:3

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

I heard what I thought was a hummingbird in my garden, but it wasn’t big enough to be one. Instead it was a hummingbird moth. They are interesting to watch as they flit around from flower to flower. However, I found it very difficult to take a sharp photo of it because of its speed. Although the following pictures are not as sharp as I would like, I thought I would put them on here because of how rare it is for us to see these in our area.

The Busy Bumble Bee

I don’t claim to be an expert about bumblebees. Our hydrangea is in full bloom, and the bees are very busy gathering pollen from it. Normally I avoid it because of allergies to wasps, etc., but this time I noticed many, many bumblebees, so thought I would try taking some photos.

 The bumble bee’s body is much thicker than a wasp and is hairy. I didn’t know before that only the female’s have stingers. The male (drone) does not have a stinger. However, the females can sting again and again since they don’t have a barbed hook on their stinger.

Their hind legs are designed to carry pollen, which you can see in the picture below. They only make enough honey for them to live on during the summer as all of them die except for the queen bees when it is fall. The queen bee then finds a place to hibernate for the winter, lays her eggs in the spring, and the cycle starts again. 

It’s difficult to get a picture of a complete bumblebee as they burrow their heads into the flowers almost as soon as they land.

There are about 250 species in the world, and Canada has about 41.

The bumblebee gathers nectar and pollen from a variety of flowers. Apparently they prefer blue flowers, but will go to any colour. Colour certainly doesn’t seem to affect them around the hydrangea. 
Compared to honey bees, their hives are relatively small. There are usually 150 – 200 bees and the hives are usually found underground in abandoned burrows. They will defend their hives, but they do not swarm. 

I think it’s amazing how the bumble bees fly. Apparently they create a vortex of air with the down stroke of their wings. Sometime I’ll have to try a faster shutter speed to catch the wings. They can fly at a rate of three metres in a second.

There is much more to learn about a bumble bee. Even in something as small as a bumble bee, you can see the hand of God at work.